Yoga Retreat
Mother As First Guru ( By Swami Gurupremananda Saraswati
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Cutting of the Cord
When, how and by whom would you prefer this done? Before or after first feed, before or after placental delivery? See also pages 323 - 324.

First Contact
Who would you like to first handle the child – emergencies excluded? You can also request that your partner be aided by the midwife to “catch” the baby as it is born. How important to you is skin to skin contact between you and your new baby? See also pages 319 - 320.

First Feed
   How and when would you like this to be done? In the case of caesarean section or separation, what feeding arrangements would you like made? Would you agree to formula bottle feeding? See also pages 321 - 322.

In Case of Separation
   Who would you wish to accompany the baby and / or stay with you? Would you agree to formula bottle feeding? See also “Emergency Separation”, page 320.

In Case of Caesarean
Indicate your preferred anaesthetic method (general or local), your wishes to


observe during, wish to touch soon after, wish to breastfeed, who you would like to be with you in the theatre. See also pages 290 - 291.

Post-Partum Baby Care
   How would you prefer the obligatory neo-natal obs done upon your baby? With mother present, father present, delayed? Which of these common procedural options do you condone for your new baby; Vitamin K shots, Hepatitis B shots, circumcision, other neo-natal dietary supplements? How would you like to arrange for baby’s first bathing? What are your needs for lactation instruction? What preferences do you have for rooming in? See also “First Contact”, page 319 and “The First 48 Hours”, page 326.

Departure Timeframe
State your preferred timeframe for going home. As soon as 4 hours after a trouble-free birth is quite possible, but anywhere up to 5 days stay in the wards is also possible. See also “After the Birth and Going Home”, page 258.

Anything Else
   Jot down anything else not covered here that you wish to include.

~Choice of Venue~

   The choice of birthing venue is, I believe, a very important matter which every woman should at least think about, before or early on in her pregnancy, rather than simply taking the popular option without consideration of the alternatives. Of course in using the word “choice”, I realise that for many, there just is no choice at all. For urban women, all 6 of the following options might be available, but for rural women far fewer choices exist. For financial reasons, geographical reasons, medical reasons, some women must simply accept the situation at hand and make the best of it. This is a great shame and something I think women in all areas and from all socio-economic groups should strive to address, by requesting, agitating or demanding greater availability of birthing choices and services in their area. The following list is arranged in descending order of numbers (Australian figures for 1999)(17).

(i) Hospital Labour Room (~ 70%) (both public and private)
(ii) Hospital Operating Theatre (for Caesarean) (~ 25%)
(iii) Hospital Birth Centre (~ 3.5%)
(iv) Homebirth attended by registered, nursing trained midwife or medical practitioner (~ 0.3%)
(v) Homebirth not attended by any registered medical person, commonly called an Unassisted Homebirth (Figures not known)
(vi) Emergency birth in unexpected places (Figures not known).

   In my own birthing history I have experienced 3 of number 1, and 3 of number 5.
   For each of these places, the resulting birth may have been planned or unplanned for that venue. So many births don’t go according to plan. A large proportion, estimated at 30 - 40%, end up

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The complete ‘Mother As First Guru’ Set also contains Book 2 + 2 audio cds. Book 2 relating to comprehensive Yoga Practices as well as the Audio Instructional practices (2 cd set) are only available with your purchase and is NOT available on the Reading Room.

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